An Open Report – Lake City, Florida City Council Meeting 07-16-12

HK Edgerton
Southern Heritage 411

When I arrived in Lake City, Florida Monday afternoon for the lynching that was planned for the Honorable Police Chief Argatha Gilmore, I could see the press already gathering. I could smell the tar and see the feathers blowing in the wind. The NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference had babies who looked to be as young as six years old carrying custom made signs that read ,”Chief Argatha Gilmore has to go.”  I thought to myself, “got no shame.”  These babies have no idea what’s going on and should be home in bed.

The Commander of the Florida Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Mechanized Calvary and I would give interviews to two different television stations expressing our support for the Chief across the street, and hold conversations with several citizens who all expressed support for the Chief and what a wonderful job she had done since taking office. This sentiment would resonate when we entered a bakery shop from the owner and several of his patrons.

It had been a long time since I had seen so many citizens and press gathered for a public meeting, and by the time the Mayor called the meeting to order, even an ant would have to wait in the hall for standing room. And then it began; the head of the SCLC would drag a dark cloud over that room as he  laid out a convincing indictment that the Chief and her department had broken the public trust, and then he started in on the Southern Cross, General Forrest, and the picture taken with the honorable men of the Mechanized Calvary of the Sons.

I was very proud of the Commander as he spoke so eloquently about the Chief and the integrity of his men. And then it was my turn. I told the Chief after I had finished reading my prepared statement to the Council that I had promised her I was going to be good.  However, after hearing what I had heard up in that room, she would have to forgive me because I was mad and was not going to stand by and let a good person, and also a great Chief, be railroaded by the likes of those who had come against her. I had already gone over my allotted five minutes, but was allowed to take 15 minutes more.

I must say I was somewhat shocked – no, flabbergasted by the thunderous applause I received from all those wonderful folks. It was like a flood gate had been opened as more and more folks stepped to that mike in support of the Chief to include another former NAACP President like myself. I thought I was happy.  And then the Chief had her turn, and when she was finished exposing the poverty pimps and those who had instigated this planned fiasco, she could have run unopposed for any position in the entire land, especially if all in that room was doing the voting.  If I wasn’t so filled with male machoism, I would cry as many of the ladies and men had already begun to do. And when one of the Councilmen called for a confidence vote and the City Clerk read off their names to cast it, like everybody, except the poverty pimps and those they had brought with them who had already existed in shame, I shouted out in glee as each gave a resounding vote of yes.  And then we all cried.  I am so proud of Chief Gilmore, and wish I could write all the reasons why. It was one of the greatest days in Dixie that I have ever had. The Table of Brotherhood had been prepared by the Police Chief in Lake City, just as it had in been done in Cross City, Florida by the Honorable Sons of Confederate Veterans Commander Joe Sparacino and the President of the MLK Peace March, Ms. Angela Carter, and the meal was so good.  May God shine his Grace on these wonderful people, for they are truly deserving.